Advertiser Disclosure
X

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

By

Views

2.6K

Shares

15

Dig Deeper

Become a Money Crasher!
Join our community.

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card – Review

Views

2.6K

Shares

15
At a Glance
Citi Rewards Student Credit Card
4.1 / 5
Rating

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou points when you spend at least $500 in purchases on your card within the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 2X points on gas station and supermarket purchases, up to $6,000 in combined category spending per year; unlimited 1X points on all other eligible purchases, including gas station and supermarket purchases above the cap;
  • Benefits: Point earnings rounded up to the nearest 10 on every purchase; 10% bonus on point redemptions, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed each year
  • Intro APR: 0% APR for 7 months on purchases
  • Fees: 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Credit Needed: Average

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is a student credit card with no annual fee, a nice sign-up bonus (compared with other student credit cards), and a fairly generous rewards program that mirrors the “grown-up” Citi Rewards+ Card. Like Rewards+, the Rewards+ Student Card’s reward currency is the ThankYou point, which can be redeemed for almost anything, including cash, at the Citi ThankYou portal. Points are generally worth $0.005 to $0.01 apiece at redemption, depending on how they’re used.

Key Features

These are the most notable features of the Citi Rewards+ Student Card.

Sign-up Bonus

When you spend at least $500 in purchases on your card within 3 months of opening your account, you earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou points. That’s worth up to $25 when redeemed for a gift card at thankyou.com.

Earning ThankYou Rewards

This earns an 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets and gas stations, up to the first $6,000 in combined category spending per year. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent, including supermarket and gas station purchases above the $6,000 annual spending cap.

On every purchase, Citi rounds point earnings up to the nearest 10, turning (for example) a purchase that would normally earn 46 points into a 50-point purchase.

Redeeming ThankYou Rewards

ThankYou points are redeemable for anything offered at Citi’s ThankYou portal. Redemption options include general merchandise, travel and transportation (with no blackout dates), statement credits, gift cards, direct purchases with major merchants like Amazon and Best Buy, and more.

Gift card redemptions generally offer the best value for your points – they require 1 point per $0.01 in gift card face value, and the redemption minimum starts at 2,500 points ($25 value). General merchandise redemptions typically value ThankYou points between $0.005 and $0.01 and have variable minimums. Other redemption options assign variable values to points – check the ThankYou portal for up-to-date information.

On every redemption up to the first 100,000 points redeemed each year, you’ll get a 10% points bonus deposited back into your rewards account. So, if you redeem 3,000 points, you’ll receive 300 points back.

Introductory APR

This card has a 7-month 0% purchase APR promotion.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3% of the total transaction amount, while the balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. The cash advance fee is the greater of $10 or 5% of the transferred amount, and late and returned payments cost up to $39 each.

Credit Required

This card requires good credit. A few minor blemishes on your credit report aren’t likely to disqualify you from this card, but major issues could be problematic.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. This card has no annual fee. That’s great news for budget-conscious college students who don’t want to pay for the privilege of building their credit.
  2. Has a Sign-up Bonus. The Rewards+ Student Card has a sign-up bonus worth up to $25 when redeemed for gift cards. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s better than student cards that lack sign-up bonuses altogether.
  3. Solid Intro Purchase APR Promotion. This card has a 7-month 0% purchase APR promotion, which is great for students who need to spend big on textbooks, dorm furniture, clothing, and other items at the start of the semester. Journey Student Credit Card and the Upromise MasterCard both lack intro purchase APR promotions.
  4. Solid Rewards Program for a Student Card. The Rewards+ Student Card for College Students earns ThankYou points at the same rate as the grown-up Rewards+ Card, and offers the same super-versatile redemption options, along with the same round-up policy on point earnings and 10% redemption bonus on the first 100,000 points redeemed each year.

Disadvantages

  1. Limited Credit Education & Support. The Citi Rewards+ Student Card doesn’t have much in the way of credit-related educational content for cardholders, nor does it provide regular FICO credit score updates. Since many college students have limited experience with credit cards, and many are actively in the process of building their personal credit, these amount to significant drawbacks.
  2. No Intro Balance Transfer APR Promotion. This card doesn’t have an introductory balance transfer promotion. That’s a bummer for students who have existing credit card debt loads.
  3. Has a Foreign Transaction Fee. The Rewards+ Student Card imposes a 3% fee on all foreign transactions. This is a drawback for those who study abroad or take spring break trips to other countries.
  4. Has a Penalty APR. This card comes with a penalty APR of 29.99%, applicable indefinitely once you miss a payment due date. This is a big drawback for students who occasionally miss payments and can significantly add to the cost of card ownership during a time of life when most people have very little budgetary wiggle room.
  5. Not for Students with Poor or Fair Credit. To qualify for this card, you must have good credit. Though Citi doesn’t require excellent credit (unlike for the flagship Rewards+ Card), good credit is actually a higher standard than some student credit cards.

Final Word

Though student credit cards aren’t always marketed as tools for establishing a credit history and building good credit, many college students use them to do just that. But it’s important to remember that not all student credit cards are ideal for building credit. There tends to be an inverse relationship between favorable student credit card terms, including generous rewards programs, and suitability for students with poor or spotty credit. The more generous the card, the more strict its credit requirements are likely to be.

Unfortunately for students who lack solid credit (or much of a credit history at all), the Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is a fairly generous student card that’s not suitable for credit newbies. If you’ve never had a credit card before, set your sights on a starter card, use it responsibly, and pay off your balances on time. Then, when your credit score has improved, try applying for a Citi rewards card.

Verdict
Citi Rewards Student Credit Card
4.1 / 5
Rating

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is great for students who have good credit, who devote significant budgetary bandwidth to gas and supermarket purchases, and who want the flexibility of an introductory 0% purchase APR promotion. It’s not ideal for students who have poor or spotty credit, nor students who wish to spend extended periods of time abroad.

No annual fee, good sign-up bonus, solid intro APR promotion, and good rewards program overall are all nice benefits. Lack of credit content and scores, lack of balance transfer promotion, foreign transaction fee, penalty APR, and strict credit requirements hurt. Overall, a solid rewards card for students with a head start.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  • Next Up on
    Money Crashers

    Bank Account Promotions

    40 Best New Bank Account Promotions & Offers – November 2019

    It's possible to make $100s just by opening up a bank account. But sorting through the best offers can be tricky. At Money Crashers, we...
    Cyber Monday Sales

    What Is Cyber Monday – Get the Best Online Shopping Deals

    The biggest online shopping day of the year keeps getting bigger. In 2018, Cyber Monday sales approached $8 billion, per TechCrunch, making the Monday after...

    Popular on
    Money Crashers

    Sign Up For Our Newsletter

    See why 218,388 people subscribe to our newsletter.

    What Do You Want To Do
    With Your Money?

    Make
    Money

    Explore

    Protect
    Money

    Explore

    Save
    Money

    Explore

    Borrow
    Money

    Explore

    Manage
    Money

    Explore

    Invest
    Money

    Explore